Showers over Windermere from Holbeck Lane near Troutbeck.

What Employees Really Want

April 19, 2018

Three Facebook leaders, Lori Goler, Janelle Gale and Brynn Harrington (together with Wharton Professor Adam Grant) just published a great article in the Harvard Business Review.

They argue that Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs:

  • basic safety and survival,
  • love and belongingness
  • self-esteem and prestige
  • self-actualisation

has been hard to argue with, but that it could stand some renovation today, given the significant improvement in the workplace with many companies offering not only basic need fulfilment, but aiming and fulfilling every need.

Facebook (whilst facing serious questions and public scrutiny over abuses of user privacy) is recognised as a pretty good place to work (certainly by my son-in-law Mark Rolland who works there and loves the place) and they survey their people twice a year, asking employees what they value most.

At Facebook there are three big motivational buckets.

  • Career – a job with autonomy and growth
  • Community – being part of something meaningful
  • Cause – being part of something bigger than a business – something with Purpose.

I think they’re right.  We built Saatchi & Saatchi on three similar pillars – Responsibility, Learning and Recognition – which, if delivered consistently – resulted in employees feeling Joy.  And happy employees work harder and more productively than unhappy employees (surprise, surprise!).

Check out your work life:

  • Are you receiving Responsibility, Learning and Recognition every day? From your boss, your subordinates and your peers?
  • Are you delivering Responsibility, Learning and Recognition to everyone you touch?

If so, you’re in a good place.



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